Series: Awkward Teaching Interview Questions - Part 1


It is so gratifying to get that call to interview. All of the hard work you put into your SAF and CV has paid off. You are ready now to go and get that dream teaching job. It is well worth considering how you might answer some of the more complex questions commonly asked at interviews. Let’s start with one of the most difficult to answer; why you left/are leaving your latest position.

Why do you want to leave your current position? Why did you leave your last job?

This can be a tricky one! You are being asked this question to see if your motivation to change positions was motivated by your desire to grow as a professional by seeking pastures new , or if there was an issue between you and your current/previous employer that cannot be resolved. An interviewer needs to see if you are going to be a good fit for the school and that you will not cause any inconvenience to the staff as a whole.

Answering the question

Be positive. It will reflect badly on you if you talk negatively about your current/previous employer. You may feel angry, disrespected and disappointed but you absolutely cannot bring these feelings into an interview with a potential new employer. Perhaps there were issues that you could not move past in your current/previous position. Everything in life poses its challenges. Have you longed to seek out a school that shares your ethos in life? If your current/previous position was limiting your growth, you could rephrase that to reflect your need to grow as a teacher instead of your school’s reluctance to change to suit how you think things should be done.


If respect, or the lack thereof, is/was an issue, tell your interviewer that you are looking for a position where you can respect everyone around you and where you can be shown that same respect in return.

I hope you found this advice helpful and do keep an eye out for more posts in the series on Awkward Interview Questions.

The Awkward Interview Questions Series:

If you need help to prepare for your all-important interview, do get in touch with me at to get great advice on effectively completing your SAF, writing a winning CV or to avail of Mock Interview Practice for teaching interviews. You can also find out more here.



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